To date, Malaysia Airlines has successfully conducted 218 rescue and repatriation flights through scheduled and chartered services since March. The flag carrier of Malaysia this week shared that as the country’s borders effectively remain closed, it is continuing to fly to new destinations with these special services.
Adapting to the situation
According to a press release seen by Simple Flying, new destinations include cities in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. There are even new African services to the likes of Cam Rahn, South Sudan, Cairo, Turkmenbashi, Turkmenabat, Dili, Nadi, and Port Moresby. The airline highlights that several of these airports have few commercial options available.
Malaysia is still under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) and Conditional MCO in individual states. Subsequently, the nation’s borders remain closed to foreigners, and citizens are unable to leave amid the global health crisis. Therefore, when it comes to international operations, Malaysia Airlines has been using its Airbus A380, A350, A330-300, and Boeing 737-800 jets for rescue and repatriation efforts.
Meanwhile, the operator’s sister company, MABkargo, has been aligning with governments and NGOs to carry more than 2,000 tonnes of medical supplies and disaster-relief provisions to areas that have been impacted by the pandemic. Ventilators, surgical gloves, and sterile isolation gowns have all been carried by the firm.
Altogether, the global demand for medical equipment has kept the company’s planes in the air and cargo terminals active. The firm highlights that despite fewer flights in its network, it continues to support the value-chain of every business and ensure minimal disruptions.
Malaysia Airlines Berger Group Chief Operations Officer Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi said that 168 of the 218 rescue and repatriation flights were charter services through strategic collaborations with governments and individual institutions. Altogether, the carrier has flown over 20,000 passengers to be with their loved ones during this difficult time.
“It has been a challenging yet exciting experience for us to operate in these new markets under the current circumstances, due to the ever-changing health and safety requirements as well as strict border controls by the respective countries,” the COO said, as per the press release.
“However, active engagements with the respective embassies, ministries, government agencies, organisations and regulatory bodies have made it possible.”
There was positivity a few months ago with Malaysia opening up for domestic operations. However, with scheduled international passenger services still suspended, the airline is having to adapt. The carrier is facing trouble amid the pandemic, and it is continuing discussions with creditors about its ongoing restructuring process.
Altogether, despite its troubles, Malaysia Airlines is continuing to do its best to serve passengers across the globe. It will nonetheless be hoping conditions improve over the next few months.
What are your thoughts about Malaysia Airlines’ rescue and repatriation flights? Have you flown with the carrier this year? Let us know what you think of its efforts in the comment section.